Store important data and software that does not need to be accessed at all times and which only take up space on the computer in an external hard disk. Occasionally, when need arises to use this data, you simply plug in the disk to your computer. An external hard disk is coupled to the computer through a USB port. It uses flash memory with no need for any power source for preserving information. Unlike other external storage devices like CDs and DVDs, external hard disks are more reliable, durable and light weight, making them extremely portable. Amongst other forms of external storage, they transfer data faster. An external hard disk represents a more technologically advanced version of flash drives operating as a disk for backing up all computer programs and storage files. Some users operate this external hard disk for precise files such as photos, documents and music while others prefer using it to back up their entire system on systematic basis. Transferring data to and from external hard disks is very simple, with the use of the basic drag and drop feature. Be conscious on the size of the file being transferred, this can take few seconds or minutes. A good number of users choose to allow the external hard disk plugged into their desktop or laptop for continuous backup up of data. External hard drives are top-rated for protecting your files against theft and damage. In case something unpleasant happens to your laptop, you can still have your entire information safe provided your external hard disk was safe.
A brief history of the external hard disk
The first hard disk was created by IBM in 1956 on request from the United States Air Force. By then it was called the RAMAC305. Initially RAMAC 305 was kept out of computers simply because they were too large. Since IBM wanted its users to have the possibility of saving files and other works performed on the computer electronically, they produced this hard disk using fifty aluminium disks. By then, the RAMAC could only hold 5 megabytes of data. By the year 1962, IBM unconfined their improved 1301 hard disk model provoking other computer companies to switch selling their own external hard disks. Later, the Floppy disk was made known to the public in 1967. Its introduction revolutionised the way files were stored externally. By making it smaller and portable, Sony drastically improved on the floppy disk by the year 1982. In the process of time, CD-ROM disks were produced and used for storing software programs and files. External storage was changed forever once the flash memory was invented. This prompted the creation of external hard disks. They transfer data quickly and easily by connecting to computers using the USB ports. External hard disks have become increasingly popular with time, due to the continuous need to store, transfer and send data to various devices. Government institutions, businesses and private citizens are all eager about backing up their data in a particular way that protects it from theft and loss.
Reasons why you should use an external hard disk
External hard disks connect to your computer through Firewall or USB connections. Hard disks are a great way to share files on computers. Interestingly, they come at an affordable price worth their performance. It is quite easy purchasing an external hard disk. They are very easy to use and can also be found in most computer or electronic stores. Once connected to your computer, they are detected automatically. There are a lot of reasons people go for the best external hard disks some of which are;
External hard disks are better than flash drives in that they come in much larger storage space capacities. You are offered the possibility of choosing an external hard disk which is 1TB unlike flash drives which are quit limited in the storage capacity. Video collectors would have to go for the external hard drive with plenty of space since video files are quite heavy.
You can be sure that the best external hard disks connect with firewall and operate at extremely high speeds. This allows you copy huge files quickly from a computer to the hard disk. Hard disks with high RPM speeds will allow you work at extremely high speeds. Video editing tasks done with a normal USB external hard drive makes the process very slow; making it very difficult, boring and sometimes quit annoying since it takes a longer time for video files to be copied from and to your normal USB external hard drives. That is one reason why you should always go for one with a Firewall connection.
The important thing about external hard drives is that they are portable, thus extremely easy to carry about. Without needing to install any drivers in your computer, they are immediately detected and read once plugged in. Even though firewall isn’t common, many good external hard disks support both USB and Firewall connections for easy accessibility.
Video editing will be quite difficult if your computer is short of space. For this reason it is important to be in possession of several external hard disks which will allow you have enough space for several projects.
Ease to use
All external hard disks are very easy to use. Firewall and USB devices are detected immediately they are plugged into any computer. This is because they are automatically supported on Apple Mac and Windows computers. Once the disk is plugged, it is displayed as a drive on your computer allowing you to access it as an internal drive fitted to your computer.
Coming in different capacities, the best external hard disks are very flexible. You also have the possibility of purchasing an empty enclosure for your hard drive which can later be fitted with any size of disk you desire. With the best external hard disks, storing and editing large video files becomes an easier and more delightful thing to do. All who use desktop computers for editing photos will find that an external hard disk will make their work easier.
Things to check on during purchase of a good external hard disks
It’s still a good idea using the cloud to back up data on an external hard disk. Before giving out the cash for any external hard drive carefully consider what type would meet your needs.
- First, you should consider the storage capacity which will meet your needs. Do you need a regular backup of your system or storage for your files? A storage device of 1TB or 2TB will be the best for you since videos and photos turn to be larger than your average documents. Smaller storage capacities will suffice if you are only looking to back up small photos and documents.
- Second, carefully take a look at the transfer speed of the external hard disk before purchasing. Make sure you compare the external hard disk’s transfer speed to that of your computer’s input. You run the risk of not getting full advantage of the fast data transfers if the hard drive uses USB 3.0 to transfer files whereas your computer has just USB 2.0 connections.
- Third, carefully reflect on the portability of the drive. External hard disks that weigh more turn to cost less than their counterparts that are streamlined and weigh less. That said, if you plan to stay at home or near home and are concerned about saving money, a larger but cheaper model will be best for you. Nevertheless, if you are regularly on the go and need your files with you at all times, then it is worth paying more for a more portable device.
- Fourth, it is important to check for compatibility. A lot of external hard disks are only compatible with PCs whereas others only with Mac, and others often come compatible with both. A reason why you should always make sure your chosen model is compatible with your computer.
- Finally, take the time to find out how easy your external hard drive will be to use. While the best external hard disks come with built in installation software others do not. If it’s your first time to use a hard disk, go for one with already installed software to make things easier. Remember it’s not a bad idea going for a drive with a long-term warranty. This is because the best external hard disks would always come with a warranty of their efficiency and durability.
There are numerous types of external hard disks you can select from depending on your individual needs. A professional videographer or photographer may need something with a large capacity. A student could go for something portable. Business owners would have to go for something with more storage capacity, better transfer rate and durability. If you are not sure which external hard disk is best to purchase, read on for what the latest reviews have to say and make a choice.
Review of External Hard Disk: The Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive
In external hard disk reviews on Amazon, a customer named JL wrote on August 31, 2015 saying he has always used this drive and would continue using it for it has always worked up to his beliefs. You can chose a 4tb external hard drive or several others since it offers large storage capacities which include 2 TB, 3 TB, 4 TB, 5 TB, 6 TB, and 8 TB. It is not only flexible but fast, with an affordable price worth its services. This is one of the best external hard disks and it’s compatible with both Windows and Mac.It comes with the Seagate backup utility. With this drive, social media users can get the best out of their media libraries, uploading videos to YouTube or photos to Facebook. It also allows you download photos and videos from these sites. The Seagate Dashboard permits users to set up automatic backups immediately the drive is connected. It has a standard and straightforward look for a single external storage device which is slightly larger than a normal 3.5-inch internal hard drive. Even though the framework is made of plastic, it is solid enough to resist shock. It comes with ventilation holes on the bottom and on the sides for the easy flow of air. This external hard drive runs at 127.0 MBps read speed, spindle speed of a 7,200 RPM and a write speed of 95.5 MBps. This device is an all-around option with simple and great functionality, zippiness, easy setup and a friendly price making it desirable by everyone.
The Seagate-Backup Plus Slim 4TB External USB 3.0/2.0 Portable external hard drive
This is one of the best 4tb external hard drives thanks to its huge storage capacity and extreme speed in transferring files. With this drive, making a collection of videos, photos and music won’t be a problem anymore. It comes with Seagate Dashboard software which automatically backs up all your files. There is an owner’s manual to help you better access all its features. The Seagate Backup Plus has an outstanding NTFS driver. Being a 4tb external hard drive means it provides more than enough space for your photos, videos and important files. Its USB 3.0/2.0 makes it very easy to connect to your computer. For quick response when updating files, its data transfer rate goes up to 4.8 MBps. Mobile, local, cloud and social media backups are possible with this drive thanks to its Seagate Dashboard software. It is possible to backup videos and pictures on your compatible android device with the Seagate Mobile Backup App. For flexibility, this 4tb external hard drive is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers. In reviews of external hard disks on Amazon, a customer by name Milos Ivanovic on December 4, 2016 declares that he purchased this drive 8 months ago and it is still working in a satisfactory manner. Still on reviews of external hard disk on Amazon, a customer by name Llamantor301 on January 21, 2017 says he was really pleased to have purchased this backup HDD, its portable, small, clean design with a nice colour. However, this device is not faultless as we can read from Jack Donnelly in reviews of external hard disk on Amazon where he says this backup HDD died 6 months after he had purchased it.
Review of External Hard Disk:The Western Digital MyPassport
One of Amazon customers wrote in external hard disk reviews that this drive has worked well for him since he purchased it and it comes with outstanding performance that rivals that of pricier competitors. Thanks to an excellent disk controller and a 3.0 USB port. This drive permits an all-out transfer speed of 168 MBps write and 174 MBps read. It ranges from 1tb to 4tb external hard drives. It is one of the best portable external hard drives weighing only a little more than 8 ounces and roughly has the same size with a passport. This makes it the lightest and smallest available in the market. It is bus-powered. Meaning, it uses the same cable for file transfers and power supply. It comes with four rubber feet that keep it stable and safe on all surfaces together and a blue light comes on when it is active. In order to reduce its carbon footprint, its casing is made from recycled materials. Though its casing is made of plastic, it is still surprisingly durable. In Reviews of external hard disks on Amazon, a customer by name Vishal wrote on June 16, 2016 expressing his gratitude towards the manufacturers for he has bought a couple of external hard drives by Western Digital over the years and they always work up to his expectations and that all the features of this drive are tailored for simplicity. In addition, he feels so surprised that other customers had issues with it. Still in reviews of external hard disks, an Amazon customer makes it clear to all that this drive works up to his expectations since he purchased it. It comes pre-loaded with WD’sSmartWare software. When plugged in, it shows up as two separate devices. That is, one drive with factory loaded software and the other with external storage space. The built in software ensures easy installation and management settings. Retrieval and Backup options permit you to set up incremental hold-ups to be executed whenever you connect the drive to your device or computer. Older file versions and files accidentally deleted from this drive can easily be retrieved. This portable external hard drive offers 256-bit data encryption and password protection.
Review of External Hard Disk: The Seagate Backup Plus 4TB
This is the best 4tb external hard drive for MacBook compatible with Apple Time Machines. It is therefore the ideal external hard drive for Apple users looking out for more storage space. With this drive, all you need do is download and install the Seagate Dashboard software on your laptop. Once this is done, you can drag and drop any photos, movies, songs or other files. It is one of the best external hard disks with social media backup and cloud connectivity. These features make it ideal for photographers with a good number of photos to backup or YouTube users with large files to backup. Its sleek portable silver design is compatible with Macbook and connects at extremely high speeds, USB 3.0 connectivity. It is 4.5 inches long and weighs only half a pound. This makes it not only suitable for video editing but also a good portable external hard drive for students. It does not require any external power supply to operate. All that’s needed is to connect is through USB. It can easily slide into your pocket without looking obvious. If you do not want this 4tb external hard drive, you can still go for one of three smaller sizes.
Review of External Hard Disk: The Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB portable external hard drive
The Toshiba Canvio comes with 1,337 positive reviews in external hard disk reviews on Amazon. A lot of customers give credit to the portability of this external hard drive. Still in external hard disk reviews on Amazon, a customer by name Prime Meridian wrote on November 15, 2011 that this drive works like a charm and simply does everything it is supposed to do. It has a simple design and enough storage space to allow you take all your files along. It works simply by plugging to your PC through its USB 3.0 port. It comes in different storage capacities amongst which are 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 3TB models. You will have to reformat this drive to an OS X-compatible format if you intend using it with Mac. You need not worry. It is pretty easy to reformat and offers faster transfer than those using USB 2.0 technology. It comes with an external shock sensor which hits speeds of up to 5400 RPM and ramp loading technology to keep all your files completely safe. This is one of the best portable external hard drives which is very easy to use and quit dependable.
Review of External Hard Disk: The Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Armor A60 Millitary-Grade
This is one of the most durable portable external hard drives you can come across in the market. Try hard as you can, this drive is extremely difficult to dismantle. The drive is drop-proof up to 122 centimetres and water-resistant. Thanks to a textured exterior casing made up of silicon material on its sides and edges, it is slip-proof, shock-proof and scratch-proof. Its striking write/read speeds are supplemented by the use of USB 3.0 technology to deliver extremely high transfers. This portable external hard drive is compatible with both Mac and Windows PCs. It also comes with SP Widget which is software for simplifying data backup and restore processes. It also comes with AES 256-bit alongside cloud storage for efficient and precise data management. You can find a 4tb external hard drive of this model. This device is completely covered by a three-year warranty that includes technical support and complete services.
Review of External Hard Disk: The Toshiba Canvio Connect II 2TB Portable External Hard Drive
With a weight of just 0.5 pounds this portable external hard drive measures 4.3 x 3.1 x .08 inches. Its sizes range from 500GB to 3TB in cases where additional storage is needed. This drive was designed to work efficiently on both Mac and Windows hardware. Setting up this drive for use is quite simple since it has only one USB port for powering up and connecting to the computer. Its read speeds on the 5400rpm drive are 112 MBps for medium and small files, 103MBps for small files and 98MBps for medium sized files. It allows larger files to write at 112.4 MBps and read at 109 MBps and offers password protection for the security of your backups. Cloud-backup grants access to your data on-the-go with a bonus online storage space of 10G. It comes with a two year warranty which covers your money value. In external hard disk reviews by an Amazon customer named ArraAvakian, he testified using this drive for 1 year 6 months without experiencing the least issues. Another Amazon customer by name Boecontributed to the external hard disk reviews by writing on May 10, 2013 that he regrets why he did not purchase this drive earlier for it works up to his expectations.
The WD My Passport USB 3.0 Portable Storage 2017 4tb External hard drive
This portable external hard drive is available in 6 colours. Black, blue, orange, yellow, white and red. In reviews of external hard disks on Amazon, a customer testifies that this is the best he has found over the years he has been looking up to computer space management. It is the most reliable for storing large amounts of videos, photos, music and important files. Available in pretty good looking colours, its sleek style fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and in your coat’s pocket. This makes it an ideal device to carry all your treasured content on the go. This device is USB 3.0 port and USB 2.0 port compatible. It comes with WD backup software for auto backup, a good looking design and hardware encryption and it is password protected. This feature always guarantees the safety and confidentiality of your files. It is WD reliable with a durable and trusted drive built. Its models are 1tb to 4tb external hard drive offering you a variety to choose from, depending on your needs. This drive isshippedworldwide.
- Includes AC adapter;
- USB 3.0 interface;
- Windows and Mac compatible;
- Includes WD backup software;
- May require reformatting before use;
- Acronis true image WD edition software;
- 256-bit AES encryption; and
- 4tb storagecapacity.
In order to simplify the backup process for both Mac and Windows computers, this hard disk comes with 256-bit encryption aimed at maintaining stored files at top level security. The disk is exFAT formatted making it easy to understand and use. Your photos, videos, music and important files won’t get lost thanks to the WD backup software it is equipped with. If it pleases you, you can set it to automatically run according to your schedule. You just need to choose the frequency and time to backup important files from your system. This is a drive with all the software you need for safety and confidentiality of your files. To keep your contents safe and personal, simply set up a personalised password after activating password protection. For convenience and quick access, you can set the WD security to automatically unlock the device whenever it is plugged into your computer. This saves you the irritation of entering your password whenever you want to access it from your computer. In external hard disk reviews on Amazon, a good number of customers confirm its reliability and compact design.
The Seagate Expansion 1TB Portable external hard drive
In reviews of external hard disks on Amazon, a customer wrote on march 10, 2017 that since he purchased this drive, it still works up to his expectations. This portable external hard drive is the best for business managers. This is because a business manager would likely need a portable external hard drive with large capacity that copies files extremely fast. This drive meets all these requirements and even more.You can find it as a modelled 1tb, 2tb, 3tb, and 4tb external hard drive. Once it is out of the computer, it can be reformatted to work in Windows computers. But if you use a Mac computer, don’t worry. You can reformat it in a few seconds to connect to your computer. According to reviews of external hard disks purchasing a drive pre-formatted for windows can turn to be the cheapest way of getting extra storage for your Mac computer. This is because purchasing a Mac-designated drive will cost you more. The drive weighs just 6.4 ounces and measures 4.8 x 3.2 x .6 inches, thus very portable. In external hard disk reviews, this drive is consider the best for business managers. Still in reviews of external hard disks on Amazon, a customer named Max Matviychuk on April 8, 2017 wrote saying that after he had experienced a scare on his computer which made away with all his important files, he knew he needed to purchase an external disk to prevent future attacks. For this reason he went for the Seagate which was quite small, looked pretty and relatively cheaper and at has greatest surprised it worked up to his expectations.
Review of External Hard Disk: The SynologyDiskStation DS214+
This drive is a 2-bay NAS server which is designed for small to medium businesses which need to spread information across multiple platforms. It comes with a maximum internal storage capacity of 10TB. It uses 2x 5TB HDD each day. It has a dual core 1.33GHz processor, Synology’s Disk Station Manager 5.0 software and 1GB of DDR memory. This drive just like others in the business-sloping SynologyDiskStation NAS line comes with all kinds of connectivity amongst which are; USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Ethernet, and SATA ports. The DS214+ is more than perfect for small to medium businesses that need to share files across Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms. Many business operations today take place over mobile devices like tablets and smart phones. With these devices you can access any important file stored on the DS214+ remotely. The DS214+ can also be used as a mail server; this is done through the mail server package. A centralised backup target is offered by this device allowing use with Apple’s machine or Synology’s data replicator software. This drive carries out all the above duties and is energy efficient. This device comes at an affordable price of 370.00 dollars with a two year warranty which covers your investment. This drive comes with just more than enough power to satisfy all digital needs of a small business. It is as versatile as it is affordable.
- 2 hot-swappable SATA Bays;
- Weighs 1.65kg;
- Comes with a power consumption of 27.62 watt when active and 9.26 during HDD hibernation;
- Comes with an internal drive of EXT4;
- Its CPU Frequency Dual core is 1.33 GHz; and
- A memory of DDR3 1G.
Design and Build
The DS214+ has a similar design to other Synology’s dual-bay business NAS. This unit is mainly composed of black metal even though its bottom and drive tray are plastic made. LED displayed lights come in front of the unit to ensure activity on the right side. The power button is on the bottom right side. Just above the power button is a USB 2.0 port for instant back up of USB devices. An example of such a device is the thumb drive. A quick copy button is found above the USB port.
This drive can easily be loaded through the front unit. Each bay can be locked in order to prevent accidental drive removal. This drive comes with double ventilation on its sides.
Review of External Hard Disk: The LaCie Fuel
This is the best portable wireless media drive that significantly increases the storage of your smartphone. It comes as 1TB external hard drive with Media server and Built-in Wi-Fi allowing you to conveniently share videos, photos, music and other important files with friends and business colleagues. This sharing can hold simultaneously with up to 5 users. It is the best family travelling companion either by bus, train, ship or plane.
- Internet pass-through;
- Cashes media list;
- Uses Seagate Media Sync on drag-and-drop or PC/Mac;
- Large capacitystorage;
- Uses Seagate-media-branded iOS; and
- Built-in Wi-Fi.
- Uses only USB 3.0 interface.
This drive can supplement your tablet or smart phone with more than enough space.
Design and feature
The fuel comes with a unique design that differentiates it from other wireless external hard drives in the market. This drive which sells at an affordable price of 139.99 dollars looks more like a piece of rugged action gear than an external storage hard drive. Its measures are 4.5 by 4.5 by 0.9 inches. Its chassis is darkish gray polycarbonate with a lanyard hole which cut into one corner. Its surface is diagonal moulded lines and its lanyard hole has a bright orange insert. This 1TB drive can hold more than a hundred movies or about a thousand pictures or music. This represents much more storage than that of the highest capacity tablets. Such space should allow you carry your entire mobile library everywhere you go. Even if you store up your files in an AAC Lossless MP3 format, you will become bored before you ever fill up the fuel. This drive supports the copying of files by drag-and-drop just like other wireless external hard drives. The fuel operates with same Apps as the Seagate Wireless Plus. This is because Seagate now owns LaCie. It is compatible with IOS, Kindle and Android for your tablets or smart phones. The Fuel is capable of using Seagate’s Media Synch App to search for and copy over files your tablet can play automatically. You are able to use the Seagate Media App or the Drag-and-Copy to copy files due to its built-in USB 3.0 port. Decoding of files takes place in your device, meaning your tablet or phone can handle DRM issues like replaying protected music and videos. You simply need to make sure your tablet or phone is logged into your device’s online store whenever you are connected to the drive. When this is done the right way, you won’t have to deal with DRM at all. You would just have your device replaying the media. The fuel indexes all files you store on it automatically. Because of this, you should be able to navigate your photos, videos, music and other files after the initial setup. The media app comes with a built-in search which shows thumbnails of your pictures, album art and video covers if any exist. There is a possibility of using the Seagate Media App to conveniently copy files from your local storage to the drive. This is the ideal device for people with 8GB and 16GB devices since they can backup and then clear their phone’s memory of all recently shot videos. There is really plenty of storage space with a 1TB device to store all your phone’s files and keep them secured.
Using the device on the road
This drive acts as a Wi-Fi router permitting you to connect the device to any hotspot of your choice if available. This makes it ideal for road trips especially for transportation companies with hotspots. The fuel shows up automatically as a shared drive to systems on your local network. That is, if you connect to any public hotspot or your home Wi-Fi. The fuel creates Wi-Fi hotspots which can also be password protected. This is to keep all prying eyes far away from your personal media files. It should be noted that for ease of use, the fuel comes with its security turned off. Once the initial indexing of the drive is completed, it uses 10 hours of battery life. This drive comes with a two year warranty which assures its durability. The drive is charged with a USB power adapter it comes with. Reviews of external hard drive disk highly recommend this wireless media drive because its interface, network and management are more refined than any other wireless media drive you can find in the market. The fuel’s rugged nature protects it much from bumps in your travelling back. Its Wi-Fi router is easily configured.
External Hard Disk Review: The Aegis Bio 3.0 Hard drive
This drive is considered as an ideal one for security conscious users. It is pocket-sized, making it very potable. It does not only represent a solid performance, but also comes with enhanced biometrics security features making it a nice all-around external hard disk. This is to ensure you have exclusive access to your confidential files There is no need to worry about biometric failure. Its built-in fingerprint scanner alleviates any worries of unapproved access to your drive. Even though the finger print access might sound a little novelty, it actually makes sense from a security point of view. Passwords can be cracked but the probability of overriding a finger print is almost zero. Even though it is a little pricier than the other drives, its top security privilege is worth the price. Programming a new Aegis Bio 3.0 to read your finger print is simple and very easy. You just have to plug it into your computer and wait for the green light to start blinking. Once it starts, swipe your finger and repeat again. When this is done, the green and blue lights will remain still. This means that your fingerprint has been registered by the drive and you have exclusive access to it from that moment. Generally, it takes a lot of people 6 swipes before their fingerprint is finally programmed. If you desire, you can make access to the drive exclusive to you so that all your files remain confidential. Nevertheless, this drive offers you the possibility of programing up to 5 fingerprints; making it possible to grant access to some family members or friends. You can add the programming of their finger prints at any time by first scanning your already registered finger print as a sort of confirmation. You have to completely reset the drive if you want to remove any finger print. After resetting, you start by programming your finger print and later add those of others. It might seem boring but it’s really a great feature which keeps your data confidential.